Trust lodges appeal over Kelmscott determination

TIRED of waiting for a determination on its application for a $35 million shopping centre redevelopment, Kelmscott Central Development Trust has lodged an appeal with the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The appeal has been lodged against the City of Armadale and Western Australian Planning Commission, with the trust claiming they have failed to meet their obligations in determining the application.

The trust’s development application for the Kelmscott Cental Shopping Centre, seeks an in-crease in the retail floor space to allow for the inclusion of a discount department store, an expansion of the existing supermarket, a food court, office and civic facilities, a multi-screen cinema complex and around 60 specialty stores.

The project would represent the largest expenditure in the area in 20 years and create hundreds of jobs both during construction and ongoing operations.

The City of Armadale received the application on November 15 last year. Due to the size of the development, approval is also required from the WA Planning Commission.

According to project manager Dr Daniel Chesson the application has not been determined within the statutory timeframe of 60 days and is deemed to have been refused.

Dr Chesson said the only way the trust could get a response in the near future from the City of Armadale and WA Planning Commission, favourable or not, was to go to appeal.

“The whole reason for holding them to their 60 days is that we need a response, we can’t sit in limbo for the next six months,” he said.

Dr Chesson said there was pressure to get the development moving due to existing tenancies and negotiations with national companies that required a decision to be made in the near future.

While the application was quite complex it did not mean that it could be ignored, he said.

“The railway integration in-creases the complexity of the application but that still doesn’t prevent the WAPC and the City

of Armadale from making a determination,” Dr Chesson said.

City of Armadale development services executive director Ian McRae said the trust did have a right to appeal, however, the action was premature because council had put the application out for public comment and would consider the application in late April. Mr McRae said that, due to the number of land-holders required to sign the application, its validity had been questioned, stalling the process.

“Rather than challenge legal advice we accepted the differing opinions about the validity of the application and progressed it so that everyone concerned could have a fair go of it,” he said.

Mr McRae said there was concern that a shopping centre of the size planned may be more than the market’s growth required.

“Kelmscott was designed as a district centre with only 15,000 square metres of retail floor space. This application is not just asking for a small amount more; the total development will be 35,000sq m,” he said.

Due to the appeal process, the WA Planning Commission was unable to comment.

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